Dreams as Coping Tools

April 1st, 2014

Here goes my first blog post : April Fool’s Day 2014


Wynken, Blynken and Nod

People I’ve recently met in the publishing business tell me that blogging is the way to go, and I’ve resisted because it sounds like work. I went to bed last night asking for a dream that would reveal what to do about blogging. My dream came true.

Before I tell you the dream, here’s some background: I had my first repetitive dream as a child, and it was about me and Golden Gate Bridge. Significantly, when my parents moved us from Japan to SF centuries ago, my first view of California was at night under the Golden Gate Bridge. Details of my recurring dreams persisted for years and years, aspects of the bridge appeared in every one, and I have sensual memory of being on, under, off, in the nets, and in the towers. Not that I really did go on all the parts of the bridge, but I did in my dreams and it still feels very real.

When I was little, I remember telling people about my dreams, because I have the ability to remember details contained in them. They seem like random stories, and are very often entertaining, with some measure of depth that somehow helps me cope with my problems at hand.

My grandmother and I made a pact before she died that she would cross over from the dead and connect with me somehow. I haven’t seen or heard from her in over forty years, but I did hear from my father, who died within the decade of my commitment to my grandma. My brother and grandfather also came in a dream around that time, too. Those two dreams of my father and my brother altered the way I perceive dreams, because they gave me comfort, and what felt like direction, albeit in different ways I’ll not address here.

So, decades ago, I started paying attention to dreams and what they mean. Simple research, like reading a tiny book, What Dreams Mean,  over the gum counter at the store, stuff like that.  I went to the library, and checked out dream books, and learned some skills that I still utilize.

I understand the importance of training myself to write down dreams, and that’s a great idea that I still do today. In fact, last night’s dream is the one I’m sharing with this blog. When I first started writing them down, I kept a journal and pencil by my bed, and when I woke up, even in the dark, I’d place my finger in front of the pencil and ‘channel write’ down what I remembered before I even opened my eyes. That technique makes for some pretty funny writing, but generally I remember details vividly when my eyes are still closed, and that was my solution.

One author (wish I could remember the name) believes that if I interpret another person’s dreams, I have to state up front, “If I had that dream, I’d…..” because that allows for interpretation, and likely disagreement with my interpretation. This is a very sensible suggestion that allows freedom in the analysis of a dream.

Another writer suggested titling and underlining each dream by the main action of the dream. This tip works really well, and I’ll use last night’s dream as an example.

Dream of buying an apartment size washer, dryer and formica countertopand towing it behind a white Toyota pickup

I will give you basic info about the dream, but suggest you don’t get overwhelmed by how much detail I can recall. I’m a detailer.


I struggle to put the washer, dryer and formica countertop on the back of a white Toyota pickup and I drive to another town to sell them. The trip is (my classic anxiety travel landscape) arduous, and the truck is seriously tilting from overload.When I get to the other town, I discover to my embarrassment, that no one wants to buy the matching set of washer/dryer or the countertop (even though it’s really cool see-through lucite). I’m burdened by these things. I manage to move them onto a flatbed trailer without strapping them down, and try to tow the flatbed (also loaded with empty bottles and jars) behind the Toyota down some hallway. But as I drive the Toyota, which runs much better without the weight, I can’t make make the turn with the flatbed attached. Then I wake up.


This is the perfect dream for me at this time.  Every aspect of it means something to me, and expresses the dread and concern I have about revealing myself in public.

  • washer/dryer- airing my laundry in a public place
  • formica countertop- I recently put one in my bathroom, and the see-through idea is from a plastic shower curtain in my kid’s bathroom, hence family and privacy.
  • Toyota- my neighbors have a white pickup, and it often carries way more load than it may be able to handle. So it’s a metaphor for home? Maybe this means I’d feel like a burden to my community?
  • flatbed- this comes from several recent conversations I’ve had about hoarding and how much of it to let go.
  • not strapping down- this seems insignificant, but I’m thinking it has to do with public image and appearing ‘safe’ in the web world.
  • The emotions of embarrassment and overwhelm- duh, that’s a no-brainer. It’s my concerns about the blog commitment.

So, my dream confirms my concerns about whether or not to blog. This dream is a forerunner to my fears of being seen, making mistakes, looking like an ass, (which I frequently do anyway, so why worry about that?). I wake up feeling frightened, write down what I remember, attempt to understand, and for me, I prefer metaphor and symbolism as a start. If I share it with others, maybe my approach at interpretation can be a link for further understanding and sharing.




3 responses to “Dreams as Coping Tools”

  1. Andrew says:

    What an awesome account on the subtle truths our dreams can unveil if we pay enough attention. We all have our own insecurities and its cool to see someone dilligently come to understand their own like you have here, so that you can honestly address them and therefore work with them in a healthy way. Inspiringt stuff! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Charleen says:

    If I had that dream… it would be about the burden of having so much “stuff”. Move it, nobody wants it, put it on a flatbed, drag it around some more. What to do with it now I’ve gotten it here. Don’t tie it down, maybe it will fall off and I won’t have to deal with it again (omy how irresponsible).
    Glad I didn’t have that dream, I might have to unload some stuff.

  3. I cant sleep and no dreams another sleepless nigh and wide awake.cant wait to see the sun and kind of day we are going to have it’s cold in the we hours of the morning and lonely cause everyone is asleep… What do I do ???I write. thats what I do.

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